Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School Nail Look: Easy Polka Dots

Many of the back to school looks that I have seen feature designs involving books, apples, rulers, and #2 pencils. I decided to try something different and create a look that would work with any outfit and be appropriate long after the first day of classes. Also, this look is perfect for school regardless of whether you will be in the classroom to teach or learn.

Tailor this look to work with your sense of style by choosing colours that complement your clothing or even shades that honour your school colours.

Check out my video to see how I created this look and which products I used.

Have a great school year!

~Beauty Writer

Back to School Nail Tutorial: Easy Polka Dots

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today’s Purchases: Essie Shine of the Times & Russian Roulette

While at Shoppers Drug Mart this afternoon, I came across a clearance shelf at the end of a makeup aisle. There was a basket of higher end polishes for only $5! Although many of the polishes were from the Nicole by OPI brand (one of my least favourite polish lines), to my excitement there were also some Essies in the mix.
The first shade that caught my eye was Shine of the Times, one of the Luxe Effects polishes. Normally I avoid purchasing Essie polishes in Canada because they are quite expensive at around $12 each. Since these were on sale for less than half the price, I couldn’t resist.

Shine of the Times has a clear base and is packed with a plethora of iridescent flakies—a perfect shade to use over other polishes to add a bit of glimmer. I think this polish will also come in handy for winter nail tutorials because, over a white base, the flakies will look like glistening snow.

Satisfied with Shine of the Times and ready to make my way to the checkout line, I saw Russian Roulette—the perfect red! I have been looking for a true red colour for quite some time. Russian Roulette is a fairly neutral shade that is neither too light nor too dark. It will be great for winter and the holiday season!
I will follow up with a review/nail of the day post once I get a chance to use these polishes.
Have you tried either of these shades?
~Beauty Writer

Monday, August 20, 2012

August Topbox

I was very impressed with this month’s Topbox. All five samples fit into the “deluxe” category and contain a generous amount of product.
I also received an email from Topbox indicating that, in the upcoming Fall months, its subscribers can expect to receive at least one makeup sample in each Topbox. This is very exciting as I have been sent many boxes featuring only skincare products.
For those of you who do not know what Topbox is, it is a service similar to Loose Button, Glymm, Birchbox, Glossybox, etc., which offers monthly boxes of deluxe size product samples. Topbox currently offers its services across Canada for $10 per month with no shipping costs. For more information check out

Saturday, August 18, 2012

NOTD: OPI Shorts Story

With its vibrant shade and fun pink hue, Shorts Story is the perfect shade to honour the last few weeks of summer!

Tired of bare nails, I searched through my collection for a pink cream finish polish that would complement a variety of summer outfits. With a quick breeze through my OPI drawer, I rediscovered Shorts Story which was released with OPI’s 2009 Paige Denim Brights collection.

This polish has a decent level of pigmentation and looks opaque after only two coats. In my opinion, this pink is neutral leaning towards cool toned which is perfect against my cool pale skin. It’s bright but not neon or harsh.

My only real complaint about this polish is the brush. Mine has OPI’s newer Pro Wide brush which is too large for my small nails. I had to keep an orange stick close by to sweep away polish that covered my cuticles.

Overall, Shorts Story is a great medium bright pink shade. I wish I had worn it more often this summer!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August Glymm Box

This month’s Glymm Box came with six samples. The makeup bag containing the products is a bit different this month. It does not have a patch with the Glymm logo and it is made of a sticky black plastic rather than a colourful vinyl like the bags of previous months.
Although this month’s bag came with more than the usual 4-5 samples, the sizes of the samples are by no means “deluxe”. After receiving this bag, I went on a search for something better and subscribed to the Canadian Glossybox.
For those of you who do not know what Glymm is, it is a service similar to Loose Button, Birchbox, Topbox, Glossy Box, etc. which offers monthly boxes of deluxe size product samples. Current subscription services are $12 monthly, $70 for 6 boxes, and and $120 for 12 boxes (prices include shipping).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

French Manicure Tutorial (3 Freehand Techniques)

Lately, one of my most requested nail tutorials has been a French manicure. Often, I feel that the French manicure seems to get lost in the sea of neons, crackles, magnetic polishes, and other current trends. I like to wear a very clean, natural nail look on occasion and French tips are perfect for days at the office, special occasions, or any other time or event.
Rather than taking a trip to the salon, I like to paint my own French tips and have been using three different freehand techniques for as long as I remember. The photos below show three different looks that I created using two French manicure sets from

The first set, which can be found here,, features the typical French manicure colours (white, a light peachy base, and a top coat to finish).

I created this look and another using this set:

The second set ( includes a gorgeous pop of colour that I have not seen in other French manicure kits. One of the polishes is a gorgeous pinkish-red jelly shade that acts as a fun base and also a nice colour to wear year round.

As you can see from the photo below, the bright yet wearable shade really emphasizes and complements the white tips.

The sets retail for around $9 each which is reasonable for three polishes. Each set comes with tip guides that allow you to create a precise white tip. I also have a coupon code that will give you 7% off site wide: BEAUTY4K31
Let me know which technique is your favourite or if you have any other tips and tricks for painting perfect French tips.
~Beauty Writer

Monday, August 6, 2012

Makeup Haul (Benefit, Stila, Tarte, Urban Decay, & More!)

Lately, I have been trying to add to my makeup collection but do not want to spend too much money. I managed to find some great items at discounted prices on beauty forums, and I also purchased a few items at retail.
When buying items on forums, sometimes the products have been used, tested, or swatched. For this reason, it is very important to sanitize products properly to make sure that they are hygienic before use.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette (see my first impressions post on this palette here:

Benefit Dandelion Brightening Face Powder

Benefit Bella Bamba Brightening Face Powder

Stila Love At First Blush Palette

Tarte Maracuja Cheek Tint in Light Pink

Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch

Have you tried any of these products? If so, what are your thoughts about them? Which products would you like to add to your makeup collection in the future?